Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alpaca - Bunny Smackdown: Part 3

The Results: Visit vtknitboy's blog post and the Fiber Arts Friday Carnival to see the official results of the Alpaca - Bunny Smackdown.

Go ahead. I'll wait. :-)

My Lessons Learned, Alpaca:

  • The thinner/smaller rolags spin more easily.
  • The rolags contribute to a fuzzy yarn.
  • The alpaca should have been picked. - I was unable to remove remaining vegetable matter due to the rolags having the fibers laying over each other (laterally) rather than aligned in the direction of spinning (longitudinally).
  • The resulting yarn is very soft and fuzzy.

My Lessons Learned, Angora:

  • The angora is very fine and slippery.
  • I had trouble with the thread breaking, so after reading @vtknitboy's post today, I will try to spin it tighter next time.
  • Since this was my first time spinning from a "loosely held clump," it was a little challenging. I think it would have been easier if the angora was carded. However, due to it's fineness, I was concerned about felting. Perhaps if I had a pair of cotton carders, I would have tried.
  • A very patient state of mind is necessary when spinning angora.
  • The resulting yarn is extremely soft and has a large halo.

How I feel:
  • I completely enjoyed what the Alpaca - Bunny Smackdown became.
  • I learned more about angora and got to spin it. I was able to compare the alpaca and angora fibers side-by-side.
  • I made stronger friendships with @sheepmama, @vtknitboy and @alpacafarmgirl.
  • I met a whole lot of fiber people on Twitter and therefore a bigger world of ideas is now available.
  • I learned that Hubba (Mr. Alpacamundo) really likes bunnies. Not sure if that means we'll be adding angora to our fiber farm, but it's not impossible.
  • Finally, now that I've had the opportunity to experience both fibers side-by-side, I am more inclined to add angora to a roving of alpaca. I have a lustrous white cria fleece that it may go nicely with. Or there's one of my old-lady fleeces to make it a little softer.

This smack down has broadened my blogging horizon. I have found blogger to be challenging to use on the formatting side. I may need to find another client. If anyone has good experience with other blogging tools, I would love to hear about it.

What's Next?

Since the last couple of years have been all about learning new skills, I have plans to make a quilt assembled from my experiments. My first hand-spun, first plied yarn, weaving, knitting, crochet... a compilation of all the little things I've tried.

I intend to ply the smackdown alpaca with the smackdown angora and add it to my experiment quilt.

Thank You:

A huge thank you to @vtknitboy. Who agreed to judge our crazy little competition. Please show him some love at his brand new Etsy shop. This is a great place to find some beautiful hand-spun yarn in all sorts of varieties.

A big hug to @sheepmama. Without you, there would have been no smackdown.

Then, of course there's @AlpacaFarmGirl who brought the smackdown to a HNL (wHole Nother Level). There's still time to enter the giveaways... alpaca/angora bat, raw angora fiber and royal baby alpaca yarn.

Finally, there's everyone on twitter and the Alpaca Farm Girl Blog who joined in and enjoyed the smackdown as much as we did. You guys are awesome.

Thank you.


SewMamaLady said...

I've really enjoyed the Alpaca/Bunny smackdown! It was very interesting.

However, I'm still on the Alpaca side. ;) Happy spinning!

jenni said...

This was a great event! :) I learned a lot about fibers and really enjoyed watching it all play out-

I can't wait to read your post about your finished experimental quilt!! :)

:) littletomato

Froggy said...

Aww, I wish I hadn't missed following all the excitement as it happened. looks like you learn a lot from the experience and learning is always a plus!

Kathryn Ray said...

Thank you guys so much for playing along. We had a great time with the smackdown.

Kathryn | Alpacamundo

Vtknitboy said...

for some weird reason i totally missed ur blog post about this! thank u for the mentions/plugs! i really appreciate it.

i also enjoyed just reading ur feelings and thoughts about taking part in this, and the rewards/gifts u gleaned from it! very uplifting!